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Vox Pop: Tbilisi Residents React To Russia's Recognition Of Abkhazia, South Ossetia

Following Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's formal recognition of the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 26, RFE/RL's Georgian Service took to the streets of the Georgian capital to gather residents' thoughts on the development.

Gorgishvili, 58, worker.

"It would be better for [Russian Prime Minister] Putin and all the reactionary forces to hold their horses a little bit, if they want to avoid big problems inside Russia. Because if this becomes a precedent, we have only two autonomous entities, whereas they have more than 50, I think. So apart from Russia, 50 more countries might emerge there."

Anna Jichonaia, 23, student.

"This decision, I think, was just a formality, for this had been decided before -- they were already independent [from us] and our country could not do much. It is bad for us, of course, that Abkhazia and [South] Ossetia do not want to have any ties [with us]. They are completely dependant on Russia, however, so it would be absurd to claim that Abkhazia's and [South] Ossetia's [real] independence will ever materialize."

Lia Tsurtsumia, 65, university professor.

"We've been expecting this to happen -- at least us citizens. We don't know whether the government did, too. We knew that all those steps that Russia undertook during the last three-four months, were in fact headed in this direction. This is terrible, of course. I think with this step Russia wants to see Georgia dismantle its territorial integrity."

Mzia Gurgenidze, 59, economist.

"Their decision is obviously a wrong one. Both Tskhinvali [region] and Abkhazia have always been parts of Georgia, and that is how it should stay. This will for sure bring negative results, be it from the Georgian or the international perspective."

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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